No medals here — just beer

BRATTLEBORO — I write to share one person's perspective on the proposed brewery/distillery, and the likely final death knell of the Maple Valley Ski Area.

At a time of supposedly increased community and personal awareness for agritourism, health, nature, creativity, innovation, and community, the “Vermont brand” bar is set extremely low.

We're getting a focus on more booze, a place without any apparent positive contribution other than $250,000 to an otherwise-quiet town's coffers, and what appears to be very little vision or authenticity.

This venture reeks of the parking-lot-style resorts one drives by in New Hampshire or New Jersey, not the enlightened or mission-driven places in Vermont that pay respect to community and nature.

What gives? If they can't lead with enlightened entrepreneurism, can't they at least try to follow in the footsteps of other successful ventures - like River Garden Marketplace, locally, or von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall in Stowe? These places harmonize with community and nature and seek to do more than get people to imbibe.

There is a golden opportunity to create a local niche, bringing together skiing (backcountry, Nordic, and downhill) socializing, and entertainment.

There is a silver opportunity to create an innovative food establishment featuring locavore cuisine.

There is a bronze opportunity to build a meaningful destination on Route 30 between the Retreat Farm to the south and Newfane to the north.

I'm for business, as long as it seeks to offer more than booze and tax revenues.

From the article as presented clearly by Randolph T. Holhut, this is a sad and disappointing lost opportunity not worthy of any medal or honorable mention. No medals here - just beer.

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